It’s a router that can protect children from porn and sexual abuse – and is easy enough for a housewife to install.
Audra, a cloud-based router created by Malaysian company Dotlines, promises to shiled users from risky sites, prevent hacking, and curb phone addiction by limiting internet hours.
Amid a worrying national trend that more children are being sexually assaulted by people they meet online, the company said the product is a way for parents to keep their children safe online.
According to the Royal Malaysia Police, over 90 per cent of Malaysian children under 15 own a handphone, and about half of them would agree to meet people they befriend on apps like Facebook and WeChat.
Among the Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia also had the highest number of IP addresses responsible for uploading and downloading photos and videos related to child pornography, police said.
The router’s features include the ability to block specific websites, set certain hours when the Internet is available, and see a device’s browsing history. These permissions can be customised for different devices connected to the router.
And because it uses cloud-based services, these protective Internet settings will kick in even if children use outside WiFi networks, so long as the router’s app is installed on their phone.
While some of these features exist on other routers, they’re often difficult to operate for the average person. But users of Audra’s beta test said the simple installation and easy-to-understand interface made it easy to use even by people with no tech expertise.
Another function cuts off all but the most essential sites after a device hits a certain number of hours online, and is meant to help curb Internet addiction.
The router also defends against cyber attacks by blocking access to URLs “known to be used by cybercriminals”, the company said. A business version is also available for offices as a cybersecurity tool.